The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Cast Off All Doubtful Care

Words: English Traditional, 1589

Source: Edith Rickert, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1914), p. 211. Cites her source as Byrd's Songs of Sundry Natures.

Cast off all doubtful care,
    Exile and banish tears;
To joyful news divine
    Lend us your listening ears.

1. An earthly tree a heavenly fruit it bare,
        A case of clay contained a crown immortal,
A crown of crowns, a King whose cost and care
        Redeemed poor man, whose race before was thrall
    To death, to doom, to pains of everlasting,
    By His sweet death, scores, stripes and often fasting.

2. A star above the stars, a sun of light,
        Whose blessed beams this wretched earth bespread
With hope of heaven and of God's Son the sight,
        Which in our flesh and sinful soul lay dead.
    O faith, O hope, O joys renowned forever
    O lively death that deathless shall persever!

3. Then let us sing the lullabies of sleep
        To this sweet Babe, born to awake us all
From drowsy sin that made old Adam weep,
        And by his fault gave to mankind the fall.
    For lo! this day, the birthday, day of days,
    Summons our songs to give Him laud and praise.

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